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The Smark Henry RAW Review (8/26/19): RooDolph the Tag Titles Contende(e)r


The Tag Team Turmoil Match to crown the #1 Contenders for the RAW Tag Team Championships at Clash of Champions sounded really good on paper, but apparently, it was just a fancy way of saying Tag Team Gauntlet Match. This version failed in comparison to more recent gauntlet matches, however, as each fall seemed to happen too quickly for anyone to actually gain momentum and for me to actually care. 

The Viking Raiders squashing The B-Team was expected, whereas them getting eliminated together with The OC because of some gimmicky shenanigans was unexpected but in a bad way. Of course, it'll be a little hard to take out the Raiders in this match while also giving The OC more momentum heading into their eventual recapturing of the tag titles but—wait, what? Who won this match? Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode? They're a fucking tag team now?!

Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson losing the titles to Seth and Braun last week should've been a bigger story for the pair, considering The OC has been an interesting faction since reuniting a month ago, but I guess WWE can't get past them being AJ Styles' mere valets. Sigh. While it's interesting that Dolph and Roode (or RooDolph, get it?) are now a team that was just formed this week, already making them #1 Contenders for the tag team titles at the expense of more established tag teams like Heavy Machinery and The Revival is a frustrating choice, especially towards the entire division. Roode didn't even have a mustache smh.


Sigh. I tried. I mean, with that title and this week's RAW, at least I tried, right? Dang it, WWE! Why would you do me dirty like this? You were the chosen one! Drew McIntyre was my chosen one!

The tag team division was... not anyone's chosen one but it was starting to develop into something cool with The OC at the top. I do like putting two singles wrestlers together as a tag team for the creativity and it can get interesting sometimes, but giving them the keys to the kingdom right away? And Baron freaking Corbin as the potential 2019 King of the Ring winner? That's so Tutan. And by that, I mean I feel like I just got hit in the gut and then the back with a steel chair.


Okay, so maybe Drew McIntyre with that crown and scepter looks less badass Drew McIntyre and more 3MB Drew McIntyre in that it's not a good fit for his character aesthetics-wise. Despite his eventual loss, which gave me a brief mental breakdown, Drew had a fantastic back-and-forth match with Ricochet, who's actually not a bad choice to progress further into the tournament. I mean, King Ricochet. He went by that name for a while in the indies, so making him the eventual winner could be an inspired choice. Even the crowd was into the idea.

Sadly, in my honest and maybe biased opinion, Drew should've advanced further into the tournament as well, maybe at the expense of someone else like The Miz or Baron freaking Corbin. It seems more logical, story-wise, to have Drew get eliminated by Cedric Alexander, with whom he has been feuding with recently, for that big babyface payoff as well as the continuation of their bad blood.

Speaking of people who Drew could've plowed through to remain in the tournament, The Miz and Baron freaking Corbin was apparently the final match of the first round of King of the Ring Tournament on RAW. Someone had to point this out to me because I was still mourning Drew's elimination. But I digress. 

The near falls were pretty fun, though with Cedric facing the winner of this match next week, it pretty much supports my logic that Drew should've been in this match to go through The Miz, while Corbin should've been the one to get eliminated at the hands (or knees) of Ricochet. Unless of course, they want Corbin to win this whole thing. Dear God pls no—hopefully, as what happened with Drew, posing with that crown and scepter is cursed. King Corbin is a terrible idea. Save us, Cedric Alexander.


Did the Universal and RAW Tag Team Champion, and The Man's Man, Seth Rollins just appear on this week's show to accept RAW Tag Team Champion Braun Strowman's Universal Championship match challenge for Clash of Champions in a backstage segment? Huh. And in the same backstage segment, Braun displayed his greed regarding all the titles while towering over halfling Kayla Braxton. Why? Because Braun was challenging United States Champion AJ Styles—again—for his phenomenal title. Double champions as tag team champions? That could be interesting, though I'd rather have The OC +2 (Maybe Finn and a woman) get all the titles as a dominant stable.

Braun randomly materializing backstage during the Street Profits' hype promo schtick—why are these guys still not competing?!—was hilarious if not scary. This was the same guy who tried to murder both Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens, so him getting teleportation powers is definitely not a good thing. But I digress. Again.

I'm glad Braun didn't win the title off of Styles, though as I've mentioned, it would've been an interesting development. Thank Eddie Guerrero for that classic Styles-saving shenanigans. Cue Braun destroying The entire OC to end the show. Hmm. Maybe Gallows and Anderson should've jumped ship to AEW instead. Sigh. 

RAW REVIEW: Not much really happened this week on RAW. Sure, there were storylines, but along with title divisions, they were slowly being sucked into Braun and Seth's main event feud. The tag division in particular is also slowly regressing to being an afterthought. Case in point: The OC, which was turning into an interesting development since their re-reunion, has now been relegated to fodder for Braun to destroy and dismantle. I mean, I get it, Braun's The Monster Among Men, but pack mentality would've been a great way to bring him down a notch. How else do you take down a one-man army? I'm giving this week's RAW a C for "Corbin as King is going to succ." 

Quick Hitters:

  • Sasha Bluenks (why do I keep torturing myself?)'s heel promo on Natalya's dead father felt a little cheap for me. Maybe it's because I'm a Hart Foundation fan or maybe it's because this is all just a backdrop to Sasha's feud with RAW Women's Champion Becky Lynch. Either way, she already delivered that sweet "your dad is in hell" line last week, so doubling down on the unnecessary "your dad is dead" bullying this week is a little less effective. Also, this entire promo didn't feel like it belonged in that ring and could've been easily handled as a backstage segment. I actually cheered when Natalya came out to brawl with Sasha because at least that ended the promo. I mean, even Becky agrees. Dank.
  • NXT moving to the USA Network should be a bigger deal than WWE merely showing some online articles on that story. Can't they, like, I don't know, make a video package on the epic story that is NXT and how big of deal it really is that NXT is moving to television?
  • Because SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley is facing Charlotte for the title, she got herself a convincing win against WWE Women's Tag Team Champion Nikki Cross with Kairi Sane's finisher. Remember Kairi Sane? Sigh.
  • Ronda Rousey is now a Total Diva. Okay.
  • Cedric Alexander beating Cesaro to gain momentum heading into his next round King of the Ring match against—sigh!—Baron Corbin was a fun match with really great in-ring work. Cedric sold a knee injury during this match, so I guess Corbin will exploit that next to progress further into the tournament. That whole sentence just gave me a brain tumor.
  • Over the weekend, college football pundit Rob Stone pinned R-Truth to become a celebrity 24/7 Champion. I actually saw this clip before I saw RAW this week, and while a bit overblown, it made me laugh. Elias quickly took the title off Stone, obviously, and with the lack of the title's presence on RAW, especially after SummerSlam, it seems to me that the people backstage might be getting bored of it.
  • Oh, hey! More Firefly Fun House segments! Oh, wait... These are just all the previous episodes repackaged together in a montage. Hmm. When will The Fiend strike next?!
  • Wait, WWE didn't mention Universal and RAW Tag Team Champion, and The Man's Man, Seth Rollins' engagement with RAW Women's Champion and The Man Becky Lynch within all three hours of this show? Huh.
Images from WWE


*****

Jofer Serapio (@ShawarmaJoereviews WWE RAW for Smark Henry. He has been an avid professional wrestling fan since grade school. These reviews are as close to professional wrestling as he can get. According to him, Kevin Owens is his best friend in the whole wide world. King Ricochet over King Corbin please.

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